May 14, 2019

Onex to buy Canada's WestJet Airlines for $2.6 billion

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Onex Partners agreed to acquire WestJet Airlines, Canada's second-largest air carrier, for C$3.5 billion (~$2.6 billion). The C$31 per share price represents a 67% premium to Friday's closing price.

Why it matters: It would be the largest-ever private equity takeover of an airline. It also would fulfill a long-held ambition for Onex, which failed in 1999 to buy Air Canada and in 2007 to buy Australia's Qantas Airways.

  • The bottom line: "It's a deal that no one saw coming. Not aviation experts, not analysts following the company, not even the vast majority of staff at the airline. There wasn't even a whiff of speculation. Even at WestJet's annual meeting last week, the question for WestJet was whether it might snap up a smaller rival, not if the Calgary-based carrier was up for sale," write CBC News' Kyle Bakx and Tony Seskus.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 786,291 — Total deaths: 37,820 — Total recoveries: 166,088.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 164,620 — Total deaths: 3,170— Total recoveries: 5,943.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. State updates: Rural-state governors say testing is still inadequate, contradicting Trump — Virginia, Maryland and D.C. issue stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states.
  5. Business latest: Ford and General Electric aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: World Bank warns economic pain unavoidable

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has caused a "global shock" and significant economic pain "seems unavoidable in all countries," the World Bank said in an economic update for
East Asia and the Pacific on Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 786,000 and the death toll exceeded 37,800 early Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 11,500 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll tops 3,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus surpassed 3,000 late Monday.

The state of play: There were more than 164,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. early Tuesday — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data. The COVID-19 death toll stood at 3,170. The number of recoveries had risen to more than 5,900.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health